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View Poll Results: Should the government bail out U.S. automakers?
Yes 18 10.00%
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:50 AM   #121
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To me the number one factor in a new car is fuel efficiency. This is why the domestics have lost my business.
I would be driving an EV1 if GM hadn't stopped selling/leasing them and scrapped them.
I will be happy to look at the Volt (which ever company buys the project when GM goes into bankruptcy). And eagerly anticipate the Tesla sedan due out in 2010.
But for the next 2 years, I'll be happy with my 79mpg Prius (that includes a battery conversion).
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:52 AM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
I have been reading this thread and hearing the Japanese good American bad car argument and just had to chime in again.
I happen to own a 2000 Honda Accord and did own a 2002 Ford F150.

Honda has 112,000 miles. Repairs:

Replaced rack and pinion unit.
Recharged Air Conditioning
Replaced transmission.
Seat belt warning stays on all the time. Dealer could not fix. Known problem with model.
Air conditioning is out again now. Have not fixed it yet.

The Honda is getting about 22 MPG for some reason now. Used to get closer to 30 MPG.

Ford F150 had 111,000 when sold a few months ago. Repairs:

O2 sensor replaced under warranty.


That’s it. Doesn’t look like the Japanese cars win in my experience. I would still have the Ford except that I traded it in on another new F150 when they were practically giving them away when the gas was high.

Last American car, a 2004 Chrysler Town and Country, it had 44 miles on it when I bought it:

17,000 miles - new tie rod ends and bushings.
21,000 miles - new power steering pump
29,000 miles - new rack and pinion
33,000 miles - new catalytic converter
35,000 miles - new fuel pump
37,000 miles - got SECOND rack and pinion because the first one failed.
41,000 miles - rear coolant tubes for rear heat/AC got corroded, had to replace.
44,000 miles - sold car, gave a 2 inch binder full or service records to buyer......

I could go on if you want.........
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:14 AM   #123
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I believe any financial assistance package should be tied to the automakers divesting themselves of uncompetitive (management, manufacturing, and union) practices and contracts, not divesting themselves of their private pension obligations. The whole PBGT scheme encourages fraud and mismanagement- recruit and hire by promising employees a great pension plan as part of an overall compensation plan that isn't market-competitive. When it's time to pay out those benefits , declare bankruptcy and dump the pack of lies pension plan on the taxpayers. For best results, rinse and repeat.

The UAW and the automakers are equally responsible for the mess they are in, IMO, and both need to come to the table -hand-in-hand -with radical, sweeping contractual plans for reform before I would LEND them a dime.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:41 AM   #124
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And for the (anecdotal) record, 1998 Toyota Corolla here, 96K miles.

So far outside of regular maintenance (battery, brakes) I've had exactly one problem: the automatic door locks no longer work for the back doors if opened from the master switch on the driver's door during warmer weather. They make a little thump in some feeble effort to push up but fail.

Fortunately cool weather is arriving so I will soon enjoy the glory of all locks working automatically until late February.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:14 PM   #125
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A line I read from another forum applies here:

The plural of anecdote is not data.

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Old 11-18-2008, 12:33 PM   #126
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I haven't read every post on this thread, so maybe this point has already been raised. I'm not wild about the idea of a bailout for the auto industry but I do wonder, if they fail, who will build the tanks, humvees, trucks, APCs, etc. that the military needs? Seems like something we wouldn't want to outsource to a country that potentially could be an enemy in the future.
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:08 PM   #127
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I haven't read every post on this thread, so maybe this point has already been raised. I'm not wild about the idea of a bailout for the auto industry but I do wonder, if they fail, who will build the tanks, humvees, trucks, APCs, etc. that the military needs? Seems like something we wouldn't want to outsource to a country that potentially could be an enemy in the future.
Oshkosh Truck, for one. I am sure Pierce Arrow and others who make fire engines could retool to pick up some govt contracts too.
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:27 PM   #128
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But for the next 2 years, I'll be happy with my 79mpg Prius (that includes a battery conversion).
Say what? How do you achieve 79mpg?
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:12 PM   #129
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Say what? How do you achieve 79mpg?
As I mentioned, perhaps too briefly, that is with a battery conversion.
A second, larger battery pack was added to the system. The car then relies on battery more often to assist the gas engine.
Unfortunately, I make the occasional 40-55 mile round trip which brings my gas mileage down to 79mpg.
If I stuck with 30 mile round trips I would be up around 100! On sub 18-20 mile trips I could maintain 125mpg.
This is the technology that the domestics have been ignoring until very recently. And it is part of the reason, in my opinion, that they are in trouble now.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:17 PM   #130
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Plus he takes a downhill route both directions
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:28 PM   #131
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As I mentioned, perhaps to briefly, that is with a battery conversion.
A second, larger battery pack was added to the system. The car then relies on battery more often to assist the gas engine.
Unfortunately, I make the occasional 40-55 mile round trip which brings my gas mileage down to 79mpg.
If I stuck with 30 mile round trips I would be up around 100! On sub 18-20 mile trips I could maintain 125mpg.
This is the technology that the domestics have been ignoring until very recently. And it is part of the reason, in my opinion, that they are in trouble now.
I wonder how we best communicate these numbers to Joe Average? While 100mpg sounds great, and there may be advantages, it isn't all gravy.

100mpg is only part of the story - and you are not telling the other part. Whatever energy you don't use when driving w/o the ICE running is coming from the electrical generating station. Which someday may be renewables, or more from nukes, but today is mostly coal.

It sounds like we need several numbers - a plug-in hybrid just cannot be summarized in one number. We might need usage profiles for X% of miles under 20 miles round trip, X% under 40, etc. And then.... cost per mile based on some KWH figure, and then... amount of carbon emitted based on national electrical generation patterns.

I get aggravated when I hear electrics, or fuel cells or other tech referred to as "zero pollution" (I'm not accusing you of this Zathras - just a general comment) - mostly it is just moving the pollution, in some cases creating MORE than just burning gasoline in an ICE.

Hope that doesn't sound like I'm knocking plug-ins or all-EV. I think they can make a lot of sense, and I'd consider one as my next vehicle if they were priced right, but we need numbers that make sense of the situation. MPG isn't a very good number for making sense of a plug-in.

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Old 11-18-2008, 04:23 PM   #132
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Interesting. I have a GM Credit Card and just received the following email message:
-------------

Dear [REWahoo],

You made the right choice when you put your confidence in General Motors, and we appreciate your past support. I want to assure you that we are making our best vehicles ever, and we have exciting plans for the future. But we need your help now. Simply put, we need you to join us to let Congress know that a bridge loan to help U.S. automakers also helps strengthen the U.S. economy and preserve millions of American jobs.

Despite what you may be hearing, we are not asking Congress for a bailout but rather a loan that will be repaid.

The U.S. economy is at a crossroads due to the worldwide credit crisis, and all Americans are feeling the effects of the worst economic downturn in 75 years. Despite our successful efforts to restructure, reduce costs and enhance liquidity, U.S. auto sales rely on access to credit, which is all but frozen through traditional channels.

The consequences of the domestic auto industry collapsing would far exceed the $25 billion loan needed to bridge the current crisis. According to a recent study by the Center for Automotive Research:

• One in 10 American jobs depends on U.S. automakers
• Nearly 3 million jobs are at immediate risk
• U.S. personal income could be reduced by $150 billion
• The tax revenue lost over 3 years would be more than $156 billion

Discussions are now underway in Washington, D.C., concerning loans to support U.S. carmakers. I am asking for your support in this vital effort by contacting your state representatives.

Please take a few minutes to go to www.gmfactsandfiction.com, where we have made it easy for you to contact your U.S. senators and representatives. Just click on the "I'm a Concerned American" link under the "Mobilize Now" section, and enter your name and ZIP code to send a personalized e-mail stating your support for the U.S. automotive industry.

Let me assure you that General Motors has made dramatic improvements over the last 10 years. In fact, we are leading the industry with award-winning vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, Buick Enclave, Pontiac G8, GMC Acadia, Chevy Tahoe Hybrid, Saturn AURA and more. We offer 18 models with an EPA estimated 30 MPG highway or better — more than Toyota or Honda. GM has 6 hybrids in market and 3 more by mid-2009. GM has closed the quality gap with the imports, and today we are putting our best quality vehicles on the road.

Please share this information with friends and family using the link on the site.

Thank you for helping keep our economy viable.

Sincerely,



Troy Clarke

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Old 11-18-2008, 04:29 PM   #133
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MPG isn't a very good number for making sense of a plug-in.-ERD50
But 80-100mpg SOUNDS so good.... Don't try to confuse us with the facts, smart guy....
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:48 PM   #134
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I saw these amazing vehicles at the airport today carrying handicapped people to the gates. They carry 50% more people than a Prius, cost 1/2 as much, and don't use any gasoline at all! Infinite mileage! Plus, highway deaths would plummet if everyone converted to them (a crash at 60 MPH has 9 times the energy of a crash at 20 MPH).

And, as a bonus, they go "beep, beep", all the time, not just when backing up (ala Prius).

Yep, let's compare apples to apples with the mileage and utility numbers.
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:58 PM   #135
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But 80-100mpg SOUNDS so good.... Don't try to confuse us with the facts, smart guy....
Yeah, I know. Some people (and I'm not addressing Zathras here) get upset when you start using facts. And that logic/reasoning thing can be disturbing for some too.



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Old 11-18-2008, 05:10 PM   #136
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To me the number one factor in a new car is fuel efficiency. This is why the domestics have lost my business.
I would be driving an EV1 if GM hadn't stopped selling/leasing them and scrapped them.
I will be happy to look at the Volt (which ever company buys the project when GM goes into bankruptcy). And eagerly anticipate the Tesla sedan due out in 2010.
But for the next 2 years, I'll be happy with my 79mpg Prius (that includes a battery conversion).
Why is fuel efficiency your number one issue? I would think first the fit for the use of the car or truck to your purpose. Then the total cost of ownership.

The Tesla sedan is 60K my Ford F150 cost 15K thats 45K more. At $3.00 a gallon thats 15K gallons of gas! My F150 get about 18MPG, so I can drive 270,000 miles on the difference in price. Pretty sure the F150 won't last that long. I may not last that long. It would take me 18 years to go that far at the rate I drive.

Why pay a premium for milage if the numbers will never work out?

Can't carry a load of firewood in a Prius.
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:25 PM   #137
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Why is fuel efficiency your number one issue? I would think first the fit for the use of the car or truck to your purpose. Then the total cost of ownership.

The Tesla sedan is 60K my Ford F150 cost 15K thats 45K more. At $3.00 a gallon thats 15K gallons of gas! My F150 get about 18MPG, so I can drive 270,000 miles on the difference in price. Pretty sure the F150 won't last that long. I may not last that long. It would take me 18 years to go that far at the rate I drive.

Why pay a premium for milage if the numbers will never work out?

Can't carry a load of firewood in a Prius.
Yep - during the last oil er crisis circa 1973 - got a good used $150 Pontiac Bonneville, V8, dual exhaust, power everything, big wide tires and burnt rubber stop light to stop at will.



In a couple years, Mr Market willing, I was gonna trade my Chevy V6 Equinox for a grownup big ass V8 GMC.

Whaaaaaa!

heh heh heh - Toyota is still running full size truck ads in my part of Missouri. Bleh - but never say never.
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:29 PM   #138
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Why is fuel efficiency your number one issue? I would think first the fit for the use of the car or truck to your purpose. Then the total cost of ownership.

The Tesla sedan is 60K my Ford F150 cost 15K thats 45K more. At $3.00 a gallon thats 15K gallons of gas! My F150 get about 18MPG, so I can drive 270,000 miles on the difference in price. Pretty sure the F150 won't last that long. I may not last that long. It would take me 18 years to go that far at the rate I drive.

Why pay a premium for milage if the numbers will never work out?

Can't carry a load of firewood in a Prius.
I have joined the Green movement and traded in my nasty old gas- guzzlin' high-carbon footprint F150 4x4 hunting truck for something more politically correct environmentally conscious. Sure, I have had to adjust, but where there is a will there is a way:
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:42 PM   #139
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Looks like it has an air horn...
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:44 PM   #140
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I haven't read every post on this thread, so maybe this point has already been raised. I'm not wild about the idea of a bailout for the auto industry but I do wonder, if they fail, who will build the tanks, humvees, trucks, APCs, etc. that the military needs? Seems like something we wouldn't want to outsource to a country that potentially could be an enemy in the future.
I have asked this many times in several different forums. Why does the bankruptcy of one of the big 3 (say GM) make it inevitable or even likely that the other two would go bankrupt? Seems to me the history of countless industries over decades if not centuries is, when the weakest competitor goes under, the remaining companies in that industry benefit. ie, GM buyers won't disappear from the face of the earth, most if not all will have to buy from another automaker, at least some presumably from Ford or Chrysler. What am I missing?

I am more than a little skeptical that supporters of the bailout seem to use the total collapse of all big 3 manufacturers, all their suppliers, all their dealers and everyone in the towns they're in will all fail. There's no precedent for that I know of to support that - and supporters just use it as a given. Surely there's no possible way they could all go bankrupt simultaneously if they're left on their own.

I hate to see any of them fail, I just think it's inevitable with their legacy costs. And with the UAW saying we aren't giving up anything and the GM CEO saying I'm not resigning - this is a pointless use of taxpayers funds. My employees and I are taking a huge compensation hit right now, not sure why I should be responsible to bailout folks who have pay, pensions and benefits that few of us have.
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